HB97 -“Better than Nothing” Just Isn’t Good Enough


Your children don't deserve "better than nothing", they deserve the best.

Your children don’t deserve “better than nothing”, they deserve the best.

Your children are too precious to have to settle for “It’s better than nothing”.

That is why as  Wyoming Freedom in Education/ Stop Common Core in Wyoming founding members, Lisa Glauner and I attended the -full to the point of being standing room only- Education Committee meeting in room 302 at the Wyoming State Capitol on Monday, February 17th, 2014.

The bills that were to be discussed were HB97, HB114, and HB124, but due to the two hours of public testimony, and nearly 2 more hours of the amendment adoption process on HB97, there just wasn’t time to address HB114 – State board of education-members, and HB124 – Education-content and performance standards.

At the meeting, I testified against HB97 -Education-state administration.

Though armed with a long list of concerns with HB97, I shared only a few of our biggest ones, in the interest of time, since it seemed many people would want to testify. The concerns I addressed were:

  • Prior to HB97 being introduced, the bill sponsor said that the bill needed a lot of work and proponents of the bill said “We have to pass the bill so we can fix it. “
  • Bureaucracy: The advisory board in this bill would be appointed by the Governor appointed State Board of Education. Then the appointed advisory board would then appoint up to 9 different subcommittees with at least 13 people a piece. (This number has changed with amendments) That is a minimum of 132 people who aren’t accountable to the people of Wyoming. (see pgs. 2-5 of HB97)
  • Another concern was the language in the data collection portion of the bill, beginning on pg 18, and on at least 6 different pages of the bill. At first it seems as though this bill puts an abrupt end to data sharing… but then there are exceptions, especially when it comes to receiving federal money….that is as long as the US Department of Education or other entity agrees in writing. (Following the public testimony, all sections and pages concerning data sharing were omitted from HB97, by way of amendment**)
  • And the vague language in HB97 leaves cracks that would allow for “repeal and replace”. We are not interested in replacing Common Core, we do not want national standards, period.  There are people in Wyoming who are capable of writing the academic standards for the children who live in Wyoming.

 

*It is worth noting that our current Governor and the State Board of Education that he appointed are proponents of the Common Core standards. (As well as the Governor Matt Mead appointed Director of the Department of Education, Richard Crandall, who has lobbied for Common Core in other states.) Can we trust this same board to appoint an unbiased advisory board that would in turn appoint 9 unbiased subcommittees?

 **Click here to read the amended bill (as of 11:00 a.m. February 19th, 2014) that has been scaled down from 34 pages to 12 pages

Our goal is to stop Common Core in Wyoming, the clear and concise HB168- Stop Common Core Initiatives in Wyoming would have done just that.  Unfortunately, HB168 failed introduction.

 

We simply cannot settle for “it’s better than nothing.” If something is worth doing it is worth doing right, the first time. We cannot send flawed legislation through, just to have something.

 

Proponents of HB97 have already said “We have to pass it so we can fix it”, what is next “If you like local control of education you can keep it”?

 

Contact your House Representatives and let them know that there are not enough amendments to fix this bill, and ask them to vote NO on HB97 -Education-state administration.

 

Click here for a more detailed list of some of our concerns as well as the concerns of our members.

 

 

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